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Sexton. But which are the offenders that are to be examin'd? let them come before master conftable.
To. Cl. Yea, marry, let them come before me; what is your name, friend?
Conr. I am a gentleman, Sir, and my name is Conrade.
To. Cl. Write down, master gentleman Conrade ; masters, do you serve God?
Both. Yea, Sir, we hope.
To.Cl. Write down, that they hope they serve God: and write God first: for God defend, but God should go before such villains. --- Masters, it is proved already that you are little better than false knaves, and it will go near to be thought so shortly; how answer you for yourselves ?
Conr. Marry, Sirs, we say, we are none.
To Cl. “ A marvellous witty fellow, I assure you, “ but I will go about with him. Come you hither, " sirrah, a word in your ear, Sir ; I say to you, it " is thought you are both false knaves.”
Bora. Sir, I say to you, we are none.
To. Cl. “ Well, stand aside; 'fore God, they are « both in a tale ; have you writ down, that they are 6 none?”
Sexton. Master town-clerk, you go not the way to examine, you must call the watch that are their accusers. To. Cl. Yea, marry, that's the defrest
let the Watch come forth; masters, I charge you in the Prince's name accuse these men.
Enter Watchmen. I Watch. This man said, Sir, that Don John the Prince's brother was a villain.
To.Cl. Write down, Prince John a villain; why this is flat perjury, to call a Prince's brother villain.
Bora. Mafter town-clerk
To. Cl. Pray thee, fellow, Peace; I do not like thy look, I promise thee.
Sexton. What heard you him fay else?
2 Watch. Marry, that he had receiv'd a thousand ducats of Don John, for accusing the lady Hero wrongfully.
To. Cl. Flat burglary, as ever was committed.
I Watch. And that Count Claudio did mean, upon his words, to disgrace Hero before the whole aflembly, and not marry her.
To, Cl. O villain! thou wilt be condemn'd into everlasting redemption for this.
Sexton. What else?
Sexton. And this is more, masters, than you can deny. Prince John is this morning secretly stoll'n away: Hero was in this manner accus'd, and' in this very manner refus'd, and upon the grief of this suddenly dy'd. Master Constable, let these men be bound and brought to Leonato ; I will go before, and shew him their examination.
Dogb. Come, let them be opinion'd. 7 Sexton. Let them be in hand.
[Exit. Conr. Off, Coxcomb! Dogb. God's my life, where's the Sexton ? let him
write 7 Sexton. Let them be in the hands of Coxcomb.] So the Editions, Mr. Theobald gives the words to Conrade, and says, But why the Sexton should be so pert upon his Brother Officers, there seems no reason from any superior qualifications in him; or any suspicion he phews of knowing their ignorance. This is strange. The Sexton throughout thews as good sense in their Examination as any Judge upon the bench could do. And as to his suspicion of their igno- , rance, he tells the Town-clerk That he goes not the way to examine,
write down the Prince's officer Coxcomb: come, bind them, thou naughty varlet.
Conr. Away! you are an ass, you are an ass.
Dogb. Doft thou not suspect my place? dost thou not suspect my years ? O, that he were here to write me down an ass! but, masters, remember, that I am an ass; though it be not written down, yet forget not that I am an ass; no, thou villain, thou art full of piety, as shall be prov'd upon thee by good witness ; is I am a wise fellow, and which is more, an officer; " and which is more, an housholder; and which is “ more, as pretty a piece of Aesh as any in Melina, " and one that knows the law; go to, and a rich « fellow enough; go to, and a fellow that hath had « losses, and one that hath two gowns, and every « thing handsome about him; bring him away; O, " that I had been writ down an ass! [Exeunt.
The meanness of his name hindered our Editor from seeing the Goodness of his Sense. But this Sexton was an Ecclefiaftic of one of the inferior Orders called the Sacristan, and not a Brother of: ficer, as the Editor calls him. I suppose the book from whence the Poet took his subject was some old English novel translated from the Italian, where the word Sagrisiano was rendered Sexton, As in Fairfax's Godfrey of Boulogne ;
When Phæbus next unclos'd his wakeful eye,
Up rose the Sexton of that place prophane, The passage then in question is to be read thus, Sexton. Let them be in hand.
[Exit. Conr. Of, Coxcomb! Dogberry would have them pinion'd. The Sexton says, it was sufficient if they were kept in safe custody, and then goes out. When one of the watchmen comes up to bind them, Conrade says, Of, Coxcomb! as he says afterwards to the Constable, Away! you are an ass. But the Editor adds, The old Quarto gavė me the first umbrage for placing it to Conrade. What these words mean I don't know : But I suspect the old Quarto divides the passage as I have done.
A CT V. SCENE I.
Before Leonato's House.
Enter Leonato and Antonio.
And 'tis not wisdom thus to second grief
Leon. I pray thee, cease thy counsel, Which falls into mine ears as profitless As water in a sieve; give not me counsel, Nor let no Comforter delight mine ear, But such a one whose wrongs do suite with mine. Bring me a father, that so lov'd his child, Whose joy of her is overwhelm'd like mine, And bid him speak of patience; Measure his woe the length and breadth of mine, And let it answer every strain for strain: As thus for thus, and such a grief for such, In every lineament, branch, Ihape and form. If such a one will smile and stroke his beard, (a)And Sorrow waive; cry, hem! when he should groan; · Patch grief with proverbs; make misfortune drunk • With candle-wasters; bring him yet to me, ! And I of him will gather patience. • But there is no such man; for, brother, men · Can counsel, and give comfort to that grief & Which they themselves not feel; but tasting it, & Their counsel turns to passion, which before ! Would give preceptial medicine to rage;
Fetter strong madness in a filken thread;
(a) And Sorrow waive ;] Oxf. Editor.-Vulg. And forrow wage.
« Charm ach with air, and agony with words.
My griefs cry louder than advertisement.
Ant. Yet bend not all the harm upon yourself: Make those, that do offend you, suffer too.
Leon. There thou speak’st reason; nay, I will do so. My soul doth tell me, Hero is bely'd ; And that shall Claudio know, so shall the Prince ; And all of them, that thus dishonour her.
Enter Don Pedro, and Claudio. Ant. Here comes the Prince and Claudio hastily. Pedro, Good den, good den. Claud. Good day to both of you. Leon. Hear you, my lords? Pedro. We have some hafte, Leonato. Leon. Some haste, my lord! well, fare you well,
1 However they have writ the style of Gods,] This alludes to the extravagant titles the Stoics gave their wise man. Sapiens ille exm Diis, ex pari, vivit. Senec. Ep. 59. Jupiter quo antecedit virum bonum? diutius bonus eft. Sapiens nihilo se minoris affimat.- Deus non vincit Sapientem felicitate. Ep. 73.
2 And made a pish at chance and sufferance.] Alludes to their famous Apathy.